It only takes a quick glance around your local Starbucks to see that we are a distracted society, pathologically checking our smartphones while waiting in line, sneaking glances when our coffee companion turns away for a moment, obsessively documenting the extraordinary event that is having coffee with a friend.
It turns out that this habit is far more dangerous than you may think. Walking into a pole should be the least of your worries because would-be predators and thieves are just waiting for a distracted victim like you to stroll across their paths, laughing hysterically at something bouncing across your screen.
The best case scenario is that your beloved is snatched from you by a bold thief who knows that the latest iPhone is worth way more than what you have in your purse or your wallet. Typically, these crimes take place in crowded tourist hotspots where people are distractedly taking selfies or posting the latest photo update from their vacation.
The far worse scenario is a would-be predator spots you walking aimlessly home, your eyes glued to the screen instead of your surroundings, unaware of the attack that is being planned for the next dark alley. As far as victims go, you’d be their prime pick, an easy mark.
Take it from someone who stumbled her way down the stairs to land smack in the middle of the hotel lobby in a sprawled heap: PUT THE SMARTPHONE DOWN! Besides being embarrassing, it’s downright dangerous (thankfully for me, the hotel incident was a wake-up call for the stupidity of attempting to type and walk at the same time).
Remember what you learned in self-defence class? Always be aware of what’s going on around you, especially when walking in crowds or at night. What we see dancing around on our screens is far more distracting than anything else we could be doing while walking.
So please. Stay safe and don’t do anything distracted and save the distraction for when you can (safely) give it your full attention.